Raul Fernandez qualifies 11th at Assen, Albert Arenas 18th
The Dutch TT will start with Niccolò Antonelli on pole position in the 22-lap Moto3 race, which promises to be another huge group battle at the front like in Barcelona last time out. In FP3 this morning there were 23 riders within the same second but a good grid position is always at a premium and this afternoon it was Antonelli who came out on top, ahead of Kaito Toba and Tony Arbolino. Series leader Aron Canet will be joined on the third row by Lorenzo dalla Porta, second in the championship.
Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team rider Raúl Fernández qualified just outside the top ten for the Dutch TT. Fernández ended the session twelfth fastest but will start from eleventh on the grid due to a penalty for another rider. Fernández took a step forward today with his feeling for the bike and will fight to recover more positions and run at the front in tomorrow’s race. Albert Arenas has a similar objective for the race at Assen although he will start from two rows further back. The Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team rider narrowly missed out on direct qualification for Q2 in free practice and was unable to progress from Q1.
11th Raúl Fernández 1:42.032:
“I am happy with how today went… well, halfway happy because up to the mid-point in qualifying I was on the front row, which would have been incredible. We have to keep our feet on the ground and remember that we have taken a big step here and improved the feeling with the bike. It is bittersweet because on the final lap with the soft tyre I didn’t feel comfortable. I went a little faster but I was losing time in the fast corners and around here that is almost every corner. We will take the positives, we had a good FP3, and all we need to decide now is the race tyre.”
18th Albert Arenas 1:42.121:
“Tomorrow we will start from a long way back and it’s a shame because the feeling was good today but I didn’t manage to get through Q1. The lap time was good but I needed to take just a little more off to move up the grid. We need to make the most of the good feeling with the bike tomorrow and fight to the end.”